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Alec Lee

Life in Pastel 


I know for sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from Alec Lee in the future.

Our favourite up-and-coming singer-songwriter has just dropped his newest EP, Life in Pastel, and let me tell you…this mixtape is FIRE.

This 4 song release from our boy Alec Lee is perfect for your summer playlist. This EP shows more of the transition from simple acoustics to clever, ear-wormy electronics. Life in Pastel is also the second installment of a 3-part release, the follow up to the 2016’s NewLifeOldFriends.

The track on this EP that had me the most excited was “I’ll Be Ready”, the album’s opening track. The song starts with a snappy and simple tune and escalates into a dance-able, very catchy chorus. Now, this is a special shout out to my OG Alec stans- let me tell you, this song has been a long time coming. This song was teased on Periscope sessions and now that it’s finally here, I’m eternally grateful.

The following track, “Can’t Live Without You”, was was released a few days prior to the EP, acting as a single. This song is more heartfelt than the first, but does not miss out on any of Lee’s classic electronic sound. However, I think the most special thing about this track is that it’s a duet with his sister Shelby. They both sound fantastic, and the longing, heartbreaking vocals truly make this a song worth coming back to over and over again.

The third song, “Found You”, is a sweet, hopeful tune that is perfect for a late night drive down the coast, worthy of back to back volume up, windows down jam sessions. The EP closes with the ballad, “Lately”, which is definitely a change in pace compared to the rest of the release. Although the track is somber and places heavy emphasis on a soft piano arrangement, it’s also refreshing. It features slightly distorted vocals which adds a smooth rhythm. It’s a perfect way to close out such a gem of a release, and I know for sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from Lee in the future.

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harrystyles

Harry Styles

Self-Titled


There is something so refreshing about this release, since so many people were expecting a typical pop album.

2017 has given us some amazing music releases so far, and Harry Styles’ self-titled debut album is no exception. For the past year and a half, One Direction has been on hiatus. During this hiatus, each of the four members has come forward some sort of a solo career. However, Harry has definitely had the most impressive shift.

We first got a tease of this new era with “Sign of the Times”, the lead single from the album. The 5 minute track begins with a simple and soft piano, and ends with a glorious full out band. The song itself features a unique story and definitely got people interested for the rest of the album.

It’s no secret that there’s a heavy influence from older music, especially from around the 1960s and 1970s (someone tell Mick Jagger that he’s been cloned!) This album is also the first time that we’re really able to see what Harry can do as a solo artist.

This album definitely caters to many different tastes. Like slow, emotional ballads? Check out “Sweet Creature“, a cute and simple song that features ear pleasing acoustics. The closing track “From the Dining Table“, features some epic-sounding strings. For fans of upbeat, rock and roll sounding tracks, you need to check out “Kiwi“, a unique tune that definitely draws on 70s culture (again- Mick, you need to check this out.) Still on the rock-spectrum of the album, “Carolina” is a bluesy-sounding song definitely worthy of a good time. You also have tracks like “Only Angel” and “Meet Me In the Hallway“, two tracks that definitely play on the aesthetically atmospheric vibes and slow, laid back vocals.

There’s so many reasons why people have been raving over this album, and it’s clearly brought on a wave of new fans. There is something so refreshing about this release, since so many people were expecting a typical pop album. I have high hopes that this album can do wonders for mainstream music, and bring in the rock and roll vibes back into our everyday radio play.

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MANIA

Fall Out Boy

“Young and Menace”


For the past few days, Fall Out Boy has been up to something fishy. Now, the news is finally out!

Fall Out Boy has announced a plethora of things today- a new album, M A N I  A, and a single titled “Young and Menace”. They have also announced a North American tour, bringing a start to the so-called “purple era”.

This new track is definitely a new style for our pop punk legends. Following the transition shown in their 2015 release, American Beauty/American Psycho, the single features a large amount of electronics and a lot less instruments, something that Fall Out Boy is pretty well known for.

Frontman Patrick Stump’s vocals sound wonderful as always, and although the song relies on dance-ready electronics, there is evidence of good lyrical content. The lyrics are very Fall Out Boy-esque, thanks to our emo king and bassist, Pete Wentz.

Overall, the new single is getting mixed reactions from long time fans and post-hiatus fans. Although the track is such a far leap from where the band has started and created their style, the song is something that is sure to become a hit. It’s easy to see that this song will be a blast to hear live, and could very well start a huge dance party during their arena tour this fall.

Fall Out Boy is back and ready to take over the music scene once again. Check out the new single “Young and Menace” down below!

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Ed Sheeran - Divide album review // AtTheBarricade.net

Ed Sheeran

Divide


Released: March 3, 2017
Label: Atlantic Records

Everyone’s favorite ginger guitarist is back with an album that has pretty much knocked the socks off his long time fans, and caught the attention of new fans (which is debatable, because who hasn’t heard of Ed Sheeran?). Our math symbol-loving Brit just dropped his third studio album, Divide (also known as ÷), on March 3rd, 2017, giving the rest of the years’ releases a run for their money. But seriously, if this album doesn’t get nominated for a Grammy, then I’m going to have some problems.

Earlier in the year we were given a taste of the album with the two lead singles, “Castle on the Hill” and “Shape of You”, both drastically different tunes yet they fit perfectly on the album. The album is a perfect mix of danceable pop, mellow acoustics, and tear-jerking ballads.

Tunes like “Galway Girl”, “Bibia Ye Ye”, and “Barcelona” are fun, upbeat songs that would be a highlight on your hang out playlists. Friendly reminder that St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, so be sure to add “Nancy Mulligan” to your Patty’s Day playlist. Or, if you’re like me, you can just listen to that one song on repeat for the whole day, which sounds like the perfect celebration to me.

Sheeran also offers some songs that you probably don’t want to dance to, but ones that might make you cry. Mixed into the album are tracks like “Perfect”, “Supermarket Flowers”, and “Happier”.

Overall, this album is truly what we needed to start off the year, and Ed Sheeran is most definitely climbing his way back up the charts (and his way back up into our hearts).

Check out the video for the leading single “Shape of You” down below!

 

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For what seemed like ages, we all hoped and prayed for a return from All Time Low. After much teasing, we finally got it.

That’s right, folks! All Time Low has returned from their cave and they are back with their brand new single, “Dirty Laundry.”

This new single is most definitely a new style for All Time Low. If you would have shown me something like “Coffee Shop Soundtrack” followed by “Dirty Laundry”, I would have not thought it was the same band. However, that’s not to say the song is bad, but that it’s completely different from what we’ve seen with previous releases.

This track definitely has more of an atmospheric feel, as opposed to their more pop-punk drum beats and guitar riffs. The lyrics are fun to sing along to and it looks like a song that fans will grow to love in the future.

And also, can I say that the music video was literally awesome? I can’t be the only one who got serious Stranger Things vibes in that laundromat. Maybe All Time Low visited the Upside Down during their time off…

You heard it here- All Time Low is back and they are ready to take over the world once more.

Check out the video for Dirty Laundry here!

Do you like “Dirty Laundry”?

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Craving some new music? Look no further.

Alec Lee is a Napa Valley native singer-songwriter and producer who started his career roughly seven years ago. He is known for combining electronics, acoustics and so much more.

His first EP M was released in the summer of 2015. The EP boasted standout tracks like “Don’t Let Go” and “M”. This EP brought an acoustic feel to the table which was very reminiscent of Ed Sheeran‘s early work (there’s even an Ed cover on his Youtube channel. Coincidence?)

However, his second EP NewLifeOldFriends (released in late 2016), saw a switch from the acoustic coffee shop vibes to a more electronic, atmospheric feel. To get a taste of his newer releases, check out “Mess” and “LikeYouWant”.

Earlier this year, Alec Lee was announced as a part of the lineup for BottleRock Napa Valley, which is a weekend-long festival that takes place in the Bay Area. If you’re attending the festival, make sure not to miss his set! To get a taste for Alec’s live performances, here is footage from the NewLifeOldFriends EP release show.

NewLifeOldFriends is the first installment of a three-part project, so keep your eyes out for new releases!


Will you be adding Alec Lee into your iTunes playlist?

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